18 Books for Fifth Graders Who are Looking for a Good Book to Read

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Are you a fifth grader simply looking for a good book? Did you rely on the Google Gods to connect you with a book that is exciting enough to make you run to the library? 

Perhaps that’s what brings you here and well… THANK YOU GOOGLE GODS for introducing us! Let’s talk good books, shall we?

Luckily for you, there are SO many great books out there for fifth graders to read. What’s even more awesome is we’ve got a list of good books right here, waiting for you to explore! Look no further!

If you are looking for a good book and are NOT in fifth grade (maybe you are a teacher or parent or in a different grade) let us assure you that these books can be for anyone! We didn’t leave you out! Pinky promise!

There are no rules for who reads what book! Come one, come all as they say!

This list of books has been curated with all genres considered. You’ll find mystery, adventure, fantasy, historical fiction plus much more!  Whatever your preference is, this list of books has something for everyone!

If you like this list of books, we encourage you to check out the other lists of good books we have put together for other grades and age groups. Who knows you may find your favorite book among those stacks! How about this list of books we have compiled for 7th graders?

Leave a comment with the books you have read on this list and what you thought of them! We would love to hear your thoughts!

Table of Contents

A Newbery Honor Book
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Ada has never left her quaint one-room apartment in the ten years she’s been alive. Her own mother is embarrassed by Ada’s twisted foot to let her go outside. When her little brother, Jamie, is transported out of London to escape threats of war on their city, Ada embarks on a journey by sneaking out to join him.

A whimsical adventure with an unlikely companion!
Amanda Foody

Barclay Thorne was never much into adventures so he was thankful when the town’s mushroom farmer asked him to become his apprentice. Barclay loved the idea of knowing exactly how he was going to live out his days to become a head mushroom farmer. No danger required.

One day Barclay breaks his town’s most sacred rule: Never EVER go into the woods! It has got wild mystical beasts that are dangerous and vicious! Barclay encountered one of these beasts and they form a special bond. As a consequence, Barclay is banished out of his town and begins an adventure with his new friend..

 The sequel for this book is set to be released in February 2022!

There is only one escape route and it's hidden!
Chris Grabenstein

This definitely has some escape room vibes going on. When Kyle Keeley learns the most famous game maker, Luigi Lemoncello, has designed the town’s new library, Kyle is thrilled. This library hosts an invitation-only lock-IN party on opening night and it is said to be really tricky to get out. Follow Kyle and the others and watch them catch every clue and solve all the puzzles in order to find the hidden escape route! You can’t trick the Kyle Keeley!

Fantasy meets Chinese folklore!
Grace Lin

In the valley of Fruitless mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life’s questions.

 Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family’s fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer.

From the author who wrote Fish in a Tree
Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Carley uses humor and street smarts to prevent becoming emotional attached to anyone and everyone. It’s a survival tactic she has used since she was a young child. But the day she becomes a foster child to the Murphys, she is blind-sided by their loving kindness. She didn’t know what having a stable family life was like, she didn’t even know it existed! 


Despite her resistance, the Murphys eventually break through Carley’s tough emotional walls to show her what it is really like to be belong– until her mother shows up wanting to take her back. Carley must decide where to go and how she wishes to live her life.

A childhood memoir about Soviet Russia
Eugene Yelchin

Drama, family secrets, and a KGB spy in his own kitchen! How will Yevgeny ever fulfill his parents’ dream that he become a national hero when he doesn’t even have his own room? He’s not a star athlete or a legendary ballet dancer. In the tiny apartment he shares with his Baryshnikov-obsessed mother, poetry-loving father, continually outraged grandmother, and safely talented brother, all Yevgeny has is his little pencil, the underside of a massive table, and the doodles that could change everything. With equal amounts charm and solemnity, award-winning author and artist Eugene Yelchin recounts in hilarious detail his childhood in Cold War Russia as a young boy desperate to understand his place in his family.

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A book that makes you feel warm and loved
Katrina Nannestad

When Inge Maria Jensen’s mother dies, the ten-year-old girl in braids is sent from Copenhagen to live on her grandmother’s farm on the Danish island of Bornholm. The whimsical Inge is desperate to tease a smile out of her stern-seeming but “jelly-soft” grandmother with nonsensical songs and Hans Christian Andersen stories. A nostalgic nod to Pippi Longstocking and Heidi, this cozy, humorous novel explores love and loss… and the unsung magic of mischief.

The beginning of an amazing 5 part adventure!
James Riley

Life is boring when you live in the real world, instead of starring in your own book series. Owen knows that better than anyone, what with the real world’s homework and chores.

But everything changes the day Owen sees the impossible happen—his classmate Bethany climb out of a book in the library. It turns out Bethany’s half-fictional and has been searching every book she can find for her missing father, a fictional character.

A beautiful tale of a girl and a whale.
Lynne Kelly

Twelve year old Iris is a tech genius. She is a master at fixing and repairing anything from the class computer to old radios. However, because she is deaf, other people treat her as if she is less than a genius. It is rough living in a world where people misunderstand you.

When she learns about Blue 55, a real whale who, like her, has a hard time communicating with other whales, Iris comes up with an idea. She should invent a way to ‘sing’ to him! Her determination brings her 3,000 miles to visit Blue 55 and changes their lives forever.

Fast-paced and super fun!
Stuart Gibbs

Charlie Thorne is a genius.

Charlie Thorne is a thief.

Charlie Thorne isn’t old enough to drive.

And now it’s up to her to save the world…

Decades ago, Albert Einstein devised an equation that could benefit all life on earth—or destroy it. Mr. Einstein feared the potential power of his equation so he hid it!

But now, a diabolical group known as the Furies are closing in on its location. In desperation, a team of CIA agents drags Charlie into the hunt, needing her brilliance to find it first—even though this means placing her life in grave danger.

Here is the sequel:
You find out you're the heir to a big witchy fortune...
Stefan Bachmann

One day, twelve-year-old Zita, receives a strange letter from a scarecrow. As an orphan who has resigned herself to a life of misery, she is taken by surprise upon the arrival of this letter because 1. it is addressed to her using a name she has kept secret from everyone and 2. it states that she is the living heir to the entire Brydgeborn fortune including the Blackbird Castle and that they are awaiting her arrival. There are many tales about her newfound ancestors including tales of witchcraft and curses. 

Does this mean Zita is a witch??

A big-hearted book!
Barbara O'Connor

Charlie Reese has a secret wish and every day she makes this secret wish praying that it will come true! 

When she is sent off to North Carolina to live with family she hardly knows, it seems to Charlie that her wish might never come true.

Until one day when Wishbone shows up and Howard, the neighbor boy proves to her surprising in many ways. Suddenly Charlie realizes that what she wished for may not be what she needs at all.

Find a home on Mars
Jennifer L. Holm

Bell has spent his whole life – all eleven years of it – on Mars. But he’s still just a regular kid – he loves cats, any kind of cake, and is curious about the secrets the adults in the US colony are keeping. Like, why don’t they have contact with anyone on the other Mars colonies? Why are they so isolated? When a virus breaks out and the grown-ups all fall ill, Bell and the other children are the only ones who can help. It’s up to Bell – a regular kid in a very different world – to uncover the truth and save his family … and possibly unite an entire planet.

Winner of the Asian / Pacific American Award for Children's Literature
Kelly Yang

Mia Tang has a lot of secrets. Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a normal house. Every day, she works alongside her parents in her motel. Her parents clean rooms while Mia answers the phone and takes care of guests. 

Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. If the motel owner, Mr. Yao, finds out they’ve been letting them stay in the empty rooms for free, well… The Yangs will be doomed.

Number 3: She wants to be a writer. But her mother thinks she should stick with math. Mia needs a lot of courage to get through the school year with so many things on her plate.

What a wonderful book for 4th and 5th graders that gives good insight on immigration and everything it entails.

A Newbery Honor Book
Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Boy has always been relegated to the outskirts of his small village. With a hump on his back, a mysterious past, and a tendency to talk to animals, he is often mocked by others in his town—until the arrival of a shadowy pilgrim named Secondus. Impressed with Boy’s climbing and jumping abilities, Secondus engages Boy as his servant, pulling him into an action-packed and suspenseful expedition across Europe to gather seven precious relics of Saint Peter.

Boy quickly realizes this journey is not an innocent one. They are stealing the relics and accumulating dangerous enemies in the process. But Boy is determined to see this pilgrimage through until the end—for what if St. Peter has the power to make him the same as the other boys?

A fun graphic novel!
Kayla Miller
Olive “clicks” with everyone in the fifth grade—until one day she doesn’t. When a school variety show leaves Olive stranded without an act to join, she begins to panic, wondering why all her friends have already formed their own groups . . . without her. With the performance drawing closer by the minute, will Olive be able to find her own place in the show before the curtain comes up?
A classic story about a family curse.
Louis Sachar

Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.

It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.

Comfort in a book.
Holly Goldberg Sloan

It’s been almost a year since Sila’s mother traveled halfway around the world to Turkey, hoping to secure the immigration paperwork that would allow her to return to her family in the United States.

The long separation is almost impossible for Sila to withstand. But things change when Sila accompanies her father (who is a mechanic) outside their Oregon town to fix a truck. There, behind an enormous stone wall, she meets a grandfatherly man who only months before won the state lottery.

Their new alliance leads to the rescue of a circus elephant named Veda, and then to a friendship with an unusual boy named Mateo, proving that comfort and hope come in the most unlikely of places.

Also by Holly Goldberg Sloan